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Some dogs are more prone to dental issues than others. And you may forget that your dog's teeth need to be taken care of just like human teeth. It is easier to start a dental routine when your dog is a puppy, but it is never too late to make your dog's teeth a priority as it can help them live longer and improve their quality of life. Below you will find some tips on how to best take care of your dog's dental hygiene.
Brush Their Teeth
Believe it or not, there are toothbrushes that are specially made for a dog's mouth. You can find them with double-sided bristles so that you can clean the teeth and inside of the gums at the same time. You could even try a small child's toothbrush, especially for small dogs. Look for a brush with soft bristles and brush softly and slowly. Take your time to not upset your dog or make them uncomfortable. There are even kinds of toothpaste made especially for dogs. You may even have some in your cabinet that you have had for a while and you are wondering does toothpaste expire? The truth is, that you can still use that toothpaste for up to two years. But any longer after that, it is time to purchase some new ones. Do your research and talk to friends and family who own dogs and see if they have found something that works well.
Wipe Their Teeth
If you pay attention, you will notice that dogs get a build-up on their teeth each day. Even if you do not brush their teeth on a regular basis, you should definitely try wetting a soft washcloth, preferably a texture like a terry cloth, with warm water. Then use that warm wet towel over a fingertip and rub their teeth down with it. There are also dental wipes made for dogs that you can use to clean their teeth with. These may be made with natural products including peppermint for fresh breath. Dental wipes can also be used as a training tool while your dog gets used to teeth brushing. It will help them get comfortable with their teeth getting cleaned and stimulated. Start off gently and give your dog a break when they need it.
If you cannot get accustomed to brushing your dog's teeth or want something you can use in between brushes, you should invest in a dental mouth rinse for dogs. Even if this is all you use to protect your dog's teeth, it is better than nothing. The most common type of mouth rinse for dogs is a drinking water additive. The ingredients they have can prevent plaque build-up and strengthen tooth enamel. It should also reduce bacteria in the mouth and therefore slow down tooth decay, as well as freshen their breath. This may go without saying, but only use mouth rinse intended for dogs, never give them human mouthwash. Human mouthwash contains alcohol and other ingredients that can be dangerous if consumed by a dog. It can cause your dog to have an upset stomach and get really sick.
You could try treats and supplements for your dog to help their teeth get healthier. There are dog chews that come with little scrubbers on them that literally scrub and clean your dog's teeth as they chew it. Some treats even promote killing oral bacteria while remaining safe and digestible for your dog. Just be careful about the dosage information and do not dilute their drinking water.
You may even find supplements that are chicken or beef flavored and can be sprinkled right on top of your dog's kibble. You should probably talk to your veterinarian before starting your dog on a new food or treat if you are unsure. Be sure to read the label and also do your best to find reviews and see what other dog owners' experiences have been with the item.